From next week, if you’re caught breaking the traffic rules, you might be asked to swipe your debit or credit card to pay the penalty. Sources said, the Mumbai Traffic Police is all set to say goodbye to cash transactions from January as it finally launches the e-challan system on January 12.

Around 1,000 e-challan machines will be handed over to traffic constables next week. Pic for representation
Around 1,000 e-challan machines will be handed over to traffic constables next week. Pic for representation

The traffic department will hold a press briefing on the same day, along with Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, Transport Minister Diwakar Raote, Director General of Police Pravin Dixit and Commissioner of Police Ahmad Javed, to announce the new scheme and hand over 1,000 e-challan machines to traffic constables. This will not only reduce opportunities for corruption in the infamous department, but will also help cops identify repeat traffic offenders.

This may soon be a common sight on the streets of Mumbai. Pic for representation
This may soon be a common sight on the streets of Mumbai. Pic for representation

However, for motorists not carrying any cards, there is another option — they will be given a 15-day window to pay the fines through National Electronic Funds Transfer (NEFT). States like Telangana and Tamil Nadu already have such systems in place for online payment of traffic fines.

“Such online transactions will reduce corruption as no traffic constable can take cash from here on. This will increase transparency in the system,” added the officer.

The offender will have to pay an additional Rs 9.5 as a sort of convenience charge for the e-challan devices that have been rented from private companies. The department also tied up with the State Bank of India to handle the online challan payments.

“This system will also help us identify repeat offenders as every thing will be digitised and all the data will be stored in computers every day,” said a traffic cop.

The plan is said to be the brainchild of Joint Commissioner of Police (Traffic) Milind Bharambe. When mid-day contacted him, Bharambe said the project was still in the pipeline and he could only comment on it after January 12.

In November, the then CP Rakesh Maria had briefed the Bombay High Court regarding the plan and had told the bench about the tie-up with the State Bank. The department is also mulling upon the introduction of prepaid cards for those who do not wish to use debit or credit cards, said officials.